Archive for July, 2020

What I refer to now as ‘the meadow garden’ was originally a lawn, chemically-maintained several times a year by the previous owner. I know this mostly from the mailers that I kept getting from the services that were hoping to continue those treatments, and from the amount of undisturbed soil several inches down when I started digging out garden beds.

From neighbors, I learned that two owners or so previous to me, the yard had been overgrown with volunteer cedars, yews, and ivy, which had to be removed before one of the sales went through. I don’t know why that was — maybe someone’s child got eaten by a tree?

Anyway, there was a LOT of lawn and I had no interest in having such a thing.

But where was I going to begin? I’d had a fairly shady garden….no, that doesn’t sound right. “I had a garden that had many mature trees and not much sun.” There we go.

And now there was this expanse of hammering light that needed something other than a chemically-enhanced monoculture. [One might note that chemically-enhanced monocultures are fraught with other problems].

Thus, the following plants were ordered:

  • Anchusa Dropmore
  • Achillea
  • Agastache [two types]
  • Asters [two types]
  • Sea holly
  • Arabis
  • Mums
  • Monarda
  • Phlox
  • Leptodermis
  • Russian Sage
  • Teucrium hyrcanicum

Of these, more than a decade later, the Asters, Monarda, and Phlox have weathered the many changes in placement, light, and soil quality. Soil was amended. Roses were in the wrong place, and now the right ones. Seasonal springs were tamed with multiple willows that created a shady area for hosta, persicaria, ferns, and hellebores.

Seedlings became full trees, with birds nesting and singing. A blank canvas of grass has been carved away, year by year, into multispecies islands with green pathways between them.

So while the world is a dumpster fire, the lilies bloom.

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